Integrating Our Work into Neighborhoods
Primavera Foundation is committed to making sure our housing options, shelters, workforce development and other programs are integrated within our communities. Our mission goes hand in hand with building stronger neighborhoods, whether that’s through our innovative affordable housing sites, community events, public policy education or our community gardens.
What we provide (click for more information):
Primavera’s commitment to social and economic justice in the context of vibrant and revitalized neighborhoods has resulted in strengthening resident leadership development and organizing with multiple community partners in targeted neighborhoods.
We are also committed to integrating green components into the organization’s strategic and operational plans with measurable outcomes for all lines of business. Primavera’s dedication to “Go Green” reflects our commitment to building a sustainable organization and a more sustainable city, county and state.
Multi-Family Rental Housing
Family Housing and Community Center
Las Abuelitas was designed in collaboration with a delegation of grandparents and great‐grandparents raising grandchildren/great grandchildren through foster care or adoption who met with Primavera to explain their need for accessible, affordable housing in a secure community setting.
Primavera began to research the need for this type of housing in Pima County as well as models of kinship family housing across the country. While there were very few models that exist, it was clear that the need was growing throughout the United States as well as locally. The seeds were planted and Primavera began to search for funding and land and to develop a plan of action to bring this vision to fruition.
Las Abuelitas is a 12-unit development which includes a community center with a multi‐purpose room, computer lab, playroom/library, kitchen, office, and children’s art display area. Shared outdoor space includes a playground, a “Common Green” sitting area, and a community garden and basketball play area accessible to the neighborhood.
Primavera’s real estate development projects are guided by the following two principles: community constituents must be involved in the vision and design of the project; and housing development must provide value to the larger neighborhood and community. Las Abuelitas Family Housing and Community Center is benefiting the community in so many ways:
- Several blighted lots have been replaced with a beautiful infill housing community, a community garden, fruit trees, and play area open to the greater neighborhood.
- 80% of low and very low income renter households in Pima County are cost burdened renters, paying more than 30% of their income on rent because of the shortage of affordable rental housing.
- 12 high quality, safe, accessible, energy efficient rental units are providing rental housing for low income (80% or under the Area Median Income) working families who were previously cost burdened with their rent.
- While this project was designed by and for kinship families, the only requirement to lease the units is income eligibility. Because of the sustainable design concepts that were implemented, electricity and water fees are lower for residents, and quality public and private spaces and activities promote the health, happiness, and well‐being of the residents and the greater community.
- The Community Center is Net Zero thereby saving energy and costs for community programs that are run there that include: programming for grandparents raising grandchildren; leadership development training for civic engagement; income tax assistance; demonstration cooking classes; and post‐homeownership classes for the community focused on: recycling, energy efficiency, crime prevention, home repairs, retirement planning, investing, etc.
- The Community Garden and basketball play area serves both the residents in the units and the surrounding neighborhood.
Recognized for its progressive design and environmentally sound construction, Las Abuelitas has received numerous awards and certifications for its green/sustainability features which include:
- Metal shade structures that cover south‐facing windows, as well as patios and shared walkways, are abundant on the site. This shade reduces the amount of solar energy which falls on the buildings and site paving in the summer, keeping both cooler.
- Insulation values in every wall type and roof system for this project meet high standards.
- A closed‐loop glycol solar hot water system is incorporated into every unit, and it is anticipated that water heating for the residents should be cost‐free for the majority of the year.
- An advanced rainwater harvesting system collects water from 100% of the roofed area for this project. This water is collected in a series of interlinked cisterns which are tied to the irrigation system and provide water for the entire site.
- A photovoltaic system is incorporated on the roofs of some units, and at shade canopies that cover the parking area and a portion of the play area. Each unit is individually tied into its own series of panels that offset the on‐grid demand as well as reduce utility costs for the residents. The project makes the most of the PV harvested energy.
- All windows, appliances, and light fixtures in the project are Energy‐Star rated, and the mechanical systems for the units are highly energy efficient.
Since its development, Las Abuelitas has been recognized for being a state-of-the-art community space:
- 2017 – Featured at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum exhibit in New York City entitled, “By the People: Designing a Better America” in January and February.
- 2014 – Mickelsen Housing Hero Award for Exemplary Urban Multifamily Development by Arizona Department of Housing.
- 2014 – Excellence Award for Affordable Housing Program by the National Association of County Community Economic Development.
- 2014 – Residential Energy Efficiency Award for New Construction by the State and Local Energy Report.
- 2014 – Recognized as “a fantastic example of a healthy communities project” by the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities.
- 2014 – Bright Energy Efficiency Award by Tucson Electric Power.
- 2014 – Heavy Medals Award by the US Green Building Council’s Arizona Chapter.
- 2014 – Platinum Certification by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
- 2014 – (The First) Net Zero Energy Building Certification by Pima County, Arizona.
City of South Tucson
Since 2007, Primavera has developed Energy Star manufactured homes in the City of South Tucson and sells the new homes to first-time home buyers. Primavera’s water harvesting crew also finishes each property by designing and implementing a yard with water harvesting features that will utilize rainwater for the native plants. These Energy Star homes are defined by having effective insulation, high-performance windows, tight construction and tight ducts, and energy efficient heating and cooling equipment. All of the homes that have been replaced were distressed/blighted properties.
In 2014, Primavera’s Homebuyer Education and Homeownership program started post-purchasing classes that included components on green cleaning, home repair, gardening, and other green, energy efficient, and low water use topics.
Community Building and Engagement
Primavera’s commitment to social and economic justice in the context of vibrant and revitalized neighborhoods has challenged the organization to integrate its neighborhood revitalization and community engagement activities. The strategy is to integrate community development and community engagement by strengthening resident leadership development and organizing across sectors with multiple community partners in targeted neighborhoods.
Visit our Events Calendar to find out about upcoming community events.
Annual Homeless Memorial
“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to relieve it.” – Daniel Goleman
Every year, we join the national movement to remember our neighbors, friends and family who have passed away while facing homelessness in the past year.
At our annual homeless memorial in December, we share memories of those who passed, speak about social injustice, share blessings, and reaffirm our commitment to continue fighting to end homelessness.
Community gardens play an important role at our properties. Primavera provides leadership to several resident and community gardens about using desert-friendly landscaping, conserving water and planting native, drought-tolerant plants to maximize greenery and growth.
Primavera partners with community members and other agencies to establish our network of community gardens, whose benefits include:
- Preserving green spaces
- Increasing knowledge of gardening and healthy eating
- Boosting access to organic, healthy foods
- Providing exercise
- Strengthening intergenerational and cross-cultural connections among neighbors
- Increasing the quality of life for residents and the community.
Throughout the year, Primavera staff, participants and residents receive education, tips and challenges to help integrate more green behaviors in their daily lives. Community gardens contribute to this. They also can be vital economic development tools if coupled with a community farmer’s market.
Primavera Foundation provides public policy education as a tool for our residents, participants and partners to advocate for themselves. In order to educate our community, we actively engage with local, state and national decision makers. We serve on boards, commissions and committees and collaborate with strategic partners.
Interested in information? Email our public policy advocate
Primavera's Policy Values
- Harm Reduction
Policy We Oppose
- Dehumanizes or degrades civil and human rights of the people we serve – housed and unhoused individuals and families
- Inhibits the potential for financial empowerment and economic prosperity
- Creates barriers to obtaining or sustaining housing
- Perpetuates systemic, institutional oppression, exacerbating underlying causes of poverty
Key Policy Priorities
- Eviction Prevention
- Increasing the Affordable Housing Inventory
- Continued and Expanded Funding of Emergency and Supportive Services
- Obtaining and Sustaining Affordable Housing
- Housing Equity